As part of our story on campus dining in the Spring 2010 issue of NC State magazine, we asked the university’s executive chef, Bill Brizzolara, to put together a menu using ingredients that have an NC State connection, including scallops, pork, cheese and sweet potatoes. Here’s what he came up with, and here’s how you can make it at home:
Seared Scallop Medallion Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
slices bacon, thin sliced
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tablespoons or more of olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
18 large scallop medallions
salt and white pepper to taste
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and any coarse stems removed
2 tomatoes, washed and each cut into 8 wedges
1. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan leaving only two tablespoons.2. Cook the shallot in the bacon fat for one minute. Add the vinegar, sugar, mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low to hold the vinaigrette warm.
3. Pat scallops dry with paper towels. You will need to cook the scallops in batches because you do not want to crowd the pan. Or, use two sauté pans at a time. Heat a clean sauté pan over medium high heat until very hot. Add oil to cover bottom, and when oil is hot, add scallops and season with salt and white pepper. When scallops have browned on the bottom, gently turn them over, re-season and turn heat down to medium till scallops are just browned on that side also. Do not overcook because scallops will become tough.
4. Divide spinach and tomato wedges between four plates and place 3 scallops on top. Drizzle dressing over scallops and spinach. Sprinkle with reserved bacon pieces and serve immediately.
Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Pork Loin with Apple Butter
For the stuffing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound (about 3) Granny Smith sliced apples, chopped
8 fresh sage leaves
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups thick-cut white bread cubes, crusts removed
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
For the Pork Roast:
2 1/2 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast — trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups prepared apple butter
kitchen twine or skewers
1. Put the pork roast in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it easier to cut. While the pork is chilling, you can make the filling.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apples and sage. Saute until softened.
3. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the cranberries, bread, egg, butter and salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth gradually until everything is moistened. Let the stuffing mixture cool completely before putting it in the pork loin.
4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
5. Butterfly the pork. Lay the roast down, fat side up. Cut along the long side of the pork loin, 1/2 inch from the bottom, and cut straight across the bottom until you are about 1/2 inch from the other side. Roll the top larger side of the roast open. Continue cutting, leaving 1/2 inch meat on the cutting board. Continue this cutting and unraveling of the loin until you are left with a rectangular piece of meat that is about 1/2-inch thick.
6. Place plastic wrap over the top of the pork and using a food mallet or heavy sauce pan pound it even.
7. Season the inside of the roast well with salt and pepper. Spread out the filling on the roast, leaving a 1/2-inch border from the edges. Starting with the short side of the roast, roll it up very tightly. Secure with kitchen twine or wooden skewers at 1-inch intervals. Season the outside of the roast generously with salt and pepper.
8. Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan and place in the oven, on the middle rack. Roast until the internal temperature of the roast is 135 degrees. Brush with half of the apple butter and cook until temperature of the roast reaches 145 degrees.
9. Remove the roast from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes to rest. Cut 1/2 inch slices, plate, and drizzle warm apple butter on top.
Sweet Potato Puree
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound canned sweet potato puree (or about 3 sweet potatoes, baked and pureed)
3 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon toasted chopped pecans
Salt and white pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Melt butter and stir in honey and gently heat till just hot.
3. In a bowl combine sweet potato, butter/honey mixture, and cinnamon and nuts. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Place in a covered casserole dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Raspberry and Goat cheese Turnovers
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
11 oz. plain goat cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
12 oz. raspberries
1 egg, yolk and white separated, each lightly whisked
1. Mix 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon together to make cinnamon sugar.
2. Combine the goat cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a bowl. Mix well.
3. Using round cookie cutters, cut 24 round discs from the puff pastry.
4. To assemble the turnovers, place a spoonful of the goat cheese mixture, a couple of raspberries and a few almond slices on the center of the disc.
5. Brush the edges of the disc with the egg whites.
6. Fold the discs and seal the edges, use a fork to help seal them.
7. Lightly brush the top of the turnovers with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when baked.
8. Sprinkle the remaining almond slices on the top of the turnovers immediately after you brush them with the egg yolk (it will help the almond slices stick to the turnover).
9. Sprinkle each turnover with a little bit of the cinnamon sugar.
10. Chill the turnovers in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until ready to bake, as this will help them seal better.
11. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375° F, checking after 5 minutes to see if they are golden. Ovens vary, so keep a watchful eye so as not to burn them.
12. Serve warm.
(Photographs by Roger Winstead ’87)